Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Teaching how to draw a whimsical face is one of my FAVORITE things to share on YouTube, and I'm having SO much fun with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series!
Today's reference image features a three quarter view - one of the trickiest to draw! As always, the whimsical drawing portion of today's video is in real time so you can see exactly how I get it done!!
HOT TIP! Because the color version of my reference image is highly saturated, the lighting can make it tricky to see where my shading should go naturally. Whenever you have difficulties with images like this, and color is throwing you off - I HIGHLY recommend you simply print yourself a black and white copy of the image so you can clearly see what is in shadow and where the highlights are.
As a matter of fact, this is the WHOLE REASON I printed my book How to Draw and Find Your Style in black and white instead of color! It's so much easier on artists to replicate the values they see on paper, when working in grayscale - especially when they are just learning to draw faces. Once you master this skill- moving over to color is SO much easier!! Trust me!!
Before we go any further, super quick announcement: All links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links, but by law there is never any additional cost to the consuner for doing so. I thank you for your support!
People ask me all the time about how to draw faces from different angles. The three quarter view is definitely one of the hardest to conquer! If you were watched episode 4 in this series, our Asian reference was also a three quarter face drawing prompt, and we used my 3/4 Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet (click the link below to download yours for FREE if you haven't grabbed this yet).
Today, I'm using my other favorite method for drawing a 3/4 face. It's slightly different, and from my How to Draw and Find Your Style book. I sketch a rough triangle at the bottom of a circle and add some curved lines across the face to help me position facial features.
Make sure you click over to see me do this in the video because watching it in motion REALLY helps!!
In case you feel like you need them, the art reference photos for this whimsical face drawing tutorial, and ALL of the Whimsical Women of the World tutorials can be found in my YouTube & Cheatsheet Library over at Awesome Art School, as well as in my new Whimsical Women of the World classroom over at Awesome Art School.
Once you have the face shape sketched in, take some time to really study the angle of your reference image. Sometimes I actually draw right on top of my printouts (shown below), because it helps me understand the angles on the model's face.
This can sometimes make me feel a little more comfortable when I put my pencil to paper and try to replicate what I see. Don't worry if you get into your sketch and feel things need to move around or be adjusted - just make alterations as needed. That's what erasers are for!!
I LOVE the eyes on this model. They are SO huge and are going to look awesome when they are all colored in!
When I'm ready to move on to the hair, I sketch in the main shapes that I see, in sections. When you're drawing hair, it extends UP and OVER the the oval of your face shape drawing because it has so much volume. Hair also has TONS to do with directionality - so look to your reference to copy what direction it's flowing from. Be sure to watch the video so you can see how this is done.
Remember to always take a step back from your drawing to pause and really look at it from a distance to reassess the spatial relationships in your drawing vs the art reference photo. It makes a huge difference!
When you're ready to begin shading with your alcohol markers, erase all of your face drawing guidelines and extraneous marks. I often "pounce" the graphite a bit with my vanish eraser as well, to life some of it off the page without fully erasing my lines because I don't want my lightest copic markers to smear the graphite, or pick that up as I'm dragging them across the page.
If you're new to coloring with copic markers, you need to move fairly quickly with them as you lay your color down because they can definitely get streaky. You only have a small window of time while the alcohol is wet, and the pigment from the color is suspended in the alcohol. This is the time when it's easiest to blend shades from multiple markers.
I love drawing hair with the copic markers brush tip because I feel like I can almost paint with it! A cheaper copic marker alternative that I've recently discovered and enjoy working with are my Ohuhu markers. They also have a brush nib, which makes them very easy to work with in a painterly way.
I use the chisel nib on my copics when I want to cover large areas on my paper, and find this can get the job done a little bit faster than the brush nib.
Another thing I LOVE about using my copic markers, is I feel like I can really achieve a lot of personality and variety with them - just by switching nibs or changing the amount of pressure I use when I press the marker to paper.
As you alreayd know if you've been watching this series - copic markers and colored pencils work amazingly together!! Colored pencils are awesome for adding detail, easing transitions between colors, and they create a pretty texture.
As you'll see in today's face drawing tutorial, adding colored pencil on top of the coat (or blanket- or whatever she's wearing!!) helped to create the look of cloth that I couldn't achieve by using copics alone.
SUPER HOT TIP! The ingredients in your art supplies matter greatly. If you're experiencing smearing/bleeding where you've added some black outlines - make sure you're using a WATER BASED black marker/fineliner here, because the alcohol and water IGNORE one another!
There is currently a 40% off coupon running - so be sure to check that out if you are interested in purchasing or gifting the Whimsical Women of the World classroom for the holidays!! Each lesson is about 90 minutes long, contains all the drawing reference photos, and the lessons are in real time (even the shading parts)!
I hope you have fun with this lesson! See ya back here next week!!
How to Draw and Shade a Whimsical African American Face with Dreadlocks in Copics (#WhimsicalWomen 5)
Let's kick this week off with another fun FREE art lesson!!
In today's video, I'm going to teach you how to draw dreadlocks on a whimsical African American face, using copic markers and colored pencil. If drawing dreads or copic marker blending have been tricky for you in the past, today's face drawing tutorial is for YOU!
As you can see, today's beauty has lots of exciting challenges in store for our face drawing practice from how to draw dreads to shading with a variety of skin tone markers. If you're not sure how to blend copic markers - you're in luck, because I demo 3 different ideas to help you conquer the streaks that are SUPER common with copics / alcohol markers!
If you've struggled with how to draw curly hair, or if you're feeling intimidated by drawing dreads, don't worry- I was too at first, but it didn't take me long to come up with an EASY drawing / shading technique I liked.
I can't wait to show it to you!!
Ok!! Go grab some art supplies and meet me back here for the tutorial.
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support!
I'm working on hammermill cover cardstock because I've found it to be the best value at 4-8 cents per sheet when I get a box of 250 sheets on Amazon. The paper is perfect for working with alcohol markers!
To get this project going, I'm sketching in my whimsical face drawing guidelines, just like I always do. Remember to NEVER skip this part because it makes such a difference when you're trying to get drawing proportions of the face right!
While I sketch in some placeholders for the facial features, I also block in the main shapes I'm seeing in my art reference photo for this model's hair. Hair is a HUGE part of our lesson today ;)
The model in our reference photo today has gorgeous, HUGE eyes. If you're just learning how to draw faces, and struggle with getting your eyes to match - especially after you've got one you like and then don't know how to draw the other eye... I've got you!!
Here's my trick: If you "build" your eyes up at the same time while you're drawing, this can really help to make them even. I start with the tear duct lines and for whatever reason pencil that in on the right side, then do the same on the left. Then I go back to the right to draw in another line and do the same to the left side, until I've got two eyes staring back at me ready for more detail!
Not bad right? They're not a perfect match, but they're close enough for me because I'm just having fun, keeping things light and into teaching you how to draw and shade a WHIMSICAL face!
Once you've got your features all sketched in, go ahead and start erasing all of the guidelines. If you need a new eraser, or have been looking for one that does a super job but doesn't kill your paper, I LOVE my vanish eraser.
I have NO SHAME in using a circle template to draw in the irises and pupils, and neither should you!! Make something a little easier on yourself. We're just having fun :)
Isn't she looking pretty already?!
I LOVE her cat eye makeup and feel like it just needs to be penciled in asap!
I usually do this near the end, but I just can't wait :)
Once all your guidelines are erased, it's time to swatch your skin tone colors and start shading.
I know you may feel tempted to skip this step, but don't! It's super important and will save you! I don't know how many times I've reached for a marker or paint tube based on the cap / packaging - only to find out it looks COMPLETELY different on paper! So do yourself a favor and take the time to make yourself a little cheatsheet of the colors you have on hand for whatever supply you're using! Mine totally isn't fancy and was super quick to do, as you can see in the bottom left.
I'm purposefully NOT calling out the exact names for the marker shades I'm using because I have a MILLION alcohol markers and I don't expect you to and want you to just create with what you have. Don't get caught up in matching your colors to mine. Just work on the PROCESS I'm teaching you ;)
Today we're really focusing on the LAYERING PROCESS with our alcohol markers. More layers help to blend your streaks. I know it can feel like this takes quite a while, but just be patient and your shading will totally come together!
I started with my lightest skin tone today and used that almost everywhere, then slowly started building up my layers going through a variety of colors to catch the medium and eventually darkest of darks that I was seeing in my art reference photo.
Now!! If you have been following this series at all- you know I've been specifically calling out "the ugly phase" every single time it kicks in for me because you HAVE to know how common this is!!
If you look at the pic above- my girl IS IN IT big time!!
The ugly phase starts to kick in when you are about HALF way done. And while it can feel frustrating because she looks SO unfinished and it may feel like you're never gonna pull it all together, you have to be patient. KEEP GOING.
If you give up on your art when you hit this phase, the ugly phase will "win." Just IGNORE it and keep chuggin' full steam ahead!!
If blending your marker streaks is bugging you at this point in your project - remember you can totally use colored pencils on top at the end to help you out. This is going to get better as well - just keep layering. Watch the video and do what I do. Pause as much as you like!
Not sure how to blend copic markers?
When it's time to blend, I choose to work with one shade lighter than the lightest color I've used. Using this lighter marker, I'll lay down both a horizontal and vertical layer to "erase" the streaky marks in the transitional areas. If it's still not blending the way I want it to, I'll take the lightest shade marker I used, or go a shade up to a medium color to cover the entire face, both horizontally and vertically.
For this particular project, I decided to try something new and incorporated one of my favorite products I love for my mixed media portraits when I'm blending the shading and skin tones- my faber castell gelatos!
Even thought these are considered a "craft" product, I LOVE what they do in terms of blending. They're SUPER buttery and honestly did the job quicker and better than my colored pencils for larger face areas. They're super simple to blend with your finger and leave a smooth effect. Check out the upper right corner of the pic below...
You'll notice I also worked some light gray (alcohol marker) into the whites of my girl's eyes, and used a pale peach colored pencil on top of her eyelids to drop in some highlights.
Looking good!!! Remember to always take a step back to hold your drawing from a distance. Your eye will typically see something you want to adjust, and you'll probably also be more than a little amazed at what YOU have just accomplished!!
I feel like my girl's left eyebrow needs a little love, so I quick take care of that, then move on to some white highlights - like the eyeshine (which I think TOTALLY makes my girls "come alive!"). I also add a few taps to her lips and the white highlight down the center of her nose.
Now it's time for HAIR, but I have no idea how to draw dreadlocks!! LOL.
Not a problem! We've got this!!
I decided to get my pencil back out to sketch in the shapes I'm seeing in my reference photo. While I was sketching, I decided to try diving in with my marker using a circular movement, and I ended up LOVING the effect!
It gave me just what I was hoping for. Be sure you watch the video to see how this goes!
To give the appearance of texture, I experimenting with using a lighter colored pencil and did squiggly circles on top.
This is what it looks like up close...
When I pull the camera back, I kinda love the effect and feel like this technique for drawing dreads really helps to indicate the texture I see in the model's hair from my reference photo. Not bad, right?!
If you're not sure how to draw dreads, be sure to watch the video because I'm really happy with the simple technique I made up. I switched up my markers a bit as well and incorporated some black to indicate depth, as you can see below...
I can't wait to see how you do with this week's project!!
Please share your work with us in the Facebook Group or over on Instagram and use the tag #whimsicalwomen!
Remember I'd LOVE to include your interpretation of this project, or any of girls from my Whimsical Women of the World portraits in my upcoming book! Simply head over to GET PUBLISHED, read the submission requirements (they're easy, promise!!), and submit your artwork.
Thanks for hanging out with me! I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did!!
The idea of drawing freckles may SOUND scary, but it's really not!! Trust me! In today's "Whimsical Women of the World" portrait drawing tutorial, I'll teach you how to draw freckles and wavy red hair on an adorable Scottish lass, using copic markers!! Grab a sheet of card stock or a paper you love using for copic marker art, a pencil, & let's sketch in our face drawing guidelines.
By the way, if you haven't heard yet - I'm going to be publishing a book featuring all 12 of the face drawing projects in this series when I'm all done, and I want YOU to join me!!!
All you have to do to participate is jump over to GET PUBLISHED, read through the easy submission requirements, and enter your work. I'll be featuring four student variations of each lesson in the book and hope YOURS is one of them!!
This week...since I can't GO to Scotland except in my mind right now, we're drawing a fiery redhead!!
I'm working on my favorite Hammermill cardstock for copic marker coloring, since that is what I'll be shading with once I'm done sketching in her face.
Typically when I'm drawing a face from scratch, I'll add a guideline that's smack in the middle of my oval to represent an eyeline. Since I'm using a reference with BIG HAIR, I've raised that eyeline a bit to account for this, because that's what I'm seeing in my portrait drawing reference.
The model in this photo has her face tilted to the side a little as well, so my vertical drawing guideline also needs to shift slightly to replicate what I see in the photo. I also check the her face shape carefully as I sketch, because I want to capture the unique contours of this model's bone structure.
Her chin line is bit tricky, so pay attention to this if you're drawing along with me. The right side of her face is really covered by a wave of hair, so I simply penciled a wave in, and recommend you do the same before sketching in the facial features.
Next I rough in those face drawing guidelines to map out where her eyes, nose and mouth will sit. I also sketch in any other shapes I see that are unique to this art reference photo while I'm working. For example, her "lip dip" feels a bit longer to me and her nose is a bit wider at the base.
Be sure to click over to the video to watch this in real time while I go over these features.
Next I sketch in a bit more hair - including her widow's peak and the curly waves around her face. Then I dig right into drawing her eyes. I always "build" both eyes up at the same time. If you struggle with drawing eyes and eyebrows, this is one of my BIGGEST tricks.
Draw one line on the right, replicate it on the left. Go back to the right, add a line, and repeat it on the left, until both eyes are done. Drawing eyes step by step at the same time makes a BIG difference and will totally help if you aren't sure how to draw the other eye so it matches!!
After that - I erase a bunch of my guidelines with my vanish eraser - only to discover her eyes look like they are set way too far apart. Not a problem! Instead of starting over - I just extend her eyes to make them a little wider. This is a perfect solution because it's a whimsical drawing anyway, and who doesn't love BIG EYES?!
If you follow me for drawing, you know I never actually sketch in the bridge of the nose or a full outline of the nose - this comes forward naturally once shading is added. All I ever do is typically draw in the nostrils. But this particular model has a distinct nose shape and HIGHLIGHT I want to replicate when shading.
She also has fairly thin lips, so pay close attention to the shapes you see here as you're copying them.
I'm really glad I picked this art reference photo, because she actually presented me with a few challenges when it came to drawing her facial features!! These are the kinds of things I LOVE about drawing faces, because each of us are SO unique. Shifting our lines slightly creates a totally new person every time we draw!
When it comes to drawing hair - I never draw each individual strand because I seriously don't have time for that!! LOL! Instead, I sketch out the big, main volume lines I see for the hair, then add in little sub-sections. Take whatever artistic license you want to because this is a whimsical drawing!
For the irises and pupils, I feel no shame in grabbing my circle stencils and NEITHER SHOULD YOU!! Why stress about stuff if there is something that can help us with a teeny shortcut so we can move on and start shading?!
When you're ready to shade, pick 3 -5 skin tones in a row and swatch them off to the side. You always want to have a game plan BEFORE you begin laying down your color so there are no surprises!
I see a lot of peach in this particular image, so those are the shades I reach for today.
I see a lot of cool tones in the reference photo as well, so I worked some light gray into the face shading. You'll also see a bit of gray in the whites of her eyes because if you look closely- there are shadows here too! They're not perfectly white. I love adding multiple greens for her eyes too!
I choose 3-5 markers for her fiery red hair, and started with the darkest shade first. I actually got a little more detailed in this piece than I typically do with hair strands, but was in the mood to go there! Plus the brush nibs of my markers were fairly thick, so it didn't take long.
One of my other big tricks - especially if you're not sure how to draw wavy hair, is to start your marker (or whatever you're drawing with!) where the ROOT of the hair is, and extend your lines from there to the tip. Just keep repeating this until you're happy, root to tip.
Now I know freckles can feel a little scary, but don't let these freak you out. They are actually REALLY easy!! All you need to do is hop in there with the tip of your marker, using one skin tone shade slightly darker than your lightest shade, and you'll be fine. If you're still feeling nervous- go ahead and try drawing freckles on paper you don't care about, off to the side on a scrap piece of paper.
When my freckles were done, I felt like my shading needed a little more drama.
Here is another hot tip for how to shade faces - when I'm adding additional layers of shading, I always go back to continue working the shaded areas I already created. Don't go in and start shading in a new place.
The wonderful thing about coloring with alcohol markers is you can slowly add more detail with colored pencil, fix problem areas, blend etc. Just make sure you're NOT using oil based colored pencils for this kind of work. Check out what your colored pencils are made of before you begin. (I *think* polychromos are a no-no here - please confirm that if you plan to use them).
Next, I tackle one of my favorite areas, eyelashes with my pentel pocket brush pen! If you're not sure how to draw eyelashes - I recently did a video ALL about this to help you, and even have a cheatsheet you can download if you want! Be sure to check that out.
When the eyelashes and eye makeup are finished, I added the teensiest bit of black to her nostrils and the crease of her lips. I also added a few black strands of hair just for artistic effect. I wasn't trying to replicate anything I saw in the reference photo here - I just felt I needed to carry the black through a little more to unify the piece. Less is more here though, so if you're doing the same, go slow!
Remember, if you do have any streaky areas remaining from your marker strokes- you can continue blending those out by going over your streaks in the opposite stroke direction with the LIGHTEST shade of marker you were using in that area. Use your colored pencils to knock things up or down a shade, wherever you need it.
When you're happy with how things look, it's time for highlights!! DON'T SHY AWAY from this part!! Even if you're scared... these can make the BIGGEST impact in your piece. I love using my white poscas or sharpies for these. I also took some artistic license here again, because I love drama! I added them on the outer corners of the tear ducts, the tip of the nose, and a teensy bit on and around her lips and chin. This really "turns up the volume" on the dimension and can totally bring your character to life.
In the end, I decided to punch up the freckles as well by peppering in a few more, again one shade darker than I had been working in earlier. Come do the lesson with me, and PLEASE submit your version for publication in my upcoming book!!
Thanks for hanging out with me!! I'll see ya back here on Friday with the latest on my Mixed Media channel, followed by another Whimsical Woman of the World next Monday!!
This is part two of my 3/4 face drawing series on my Drawing Channel over on YouTube! If you missed the first episode, go ahead and start here so you can draw this girlie along with me!
Today we're doing some EASY pencil shading techniques to add drama to our three quarter portrait face drawing! I used the same photo reference as I did to sketch my drawing. Even though this is a whimsical face, I feel it makes a HUGE difference in my work if I use a reference photo to tell me where I should add in shadows, and how dark they should be.
One of the fun things about drawing in a whimsical style, is I can mix and match reference photos for my work and use them in different ways. For example, I really LOVE the dramatic shadows and highlights in this image (below). If I'm shading a face in pencil, I feel like it's super helpful to use a black and white shading reference like this one...
In my How to Draw and Find Your Style book, I talk in depth about how to take advantage of the value scale when you are shading. because it adds so much more depth and dimension to your drawings and sketches. The more tones you incorporate into your drawing from the value scale like bright white highlights, and dark black shadows, the more sophisticated your work will be.
In today's shading tutorial I'm using one of my Blackwing pencils (TOTALLY unnecessary, but I SO LOVE THEM!!!). This one is equivalent to about a 4B, but you can absolutely use a simple #2 school pencil, so don't stress about your supplies! I start applying graphite by looking at my reference photo for the darkest areas first. When I'm shading, I often use the side of my pencil to begin. My initial layer of shading is very light and almost scribbly.
After I have a light layer of shading down, I use my blending stump to "moosh" the graphite around. In this particular reference photo, the model is very light skinned, so I actually use the cleaner side of my blending stump to work my shading in and around the face. If I lay down too much, I simply pick a bit of that graphite back up with my eraser and moosh some more! For the darkest areas, I use the super dirty side of my blending stump.
When you're starting out with drawing and shading, I think it's SOOOOO much easier to practice in a whimsical drawing style. It just takes the pressure off and keeps things light and fun! And if you're having fun...you'll practice more, and if you practice... your skills will only grow and improve!!
When my first layer of shading is done, I go back for a second layer of shading to really punch up my details that could have been lost while "mooshing" my graphite around with my blending stump. This is where the drama starts to come in!! Sometimes it can also help you to look at a reference photo with squinted eyes. It may sound funny, but doing this can often help you see darks and lights a bit more.
The objective of shading for me is to use the WHOLE value scale. So you'll see me use a black colored pencil for the darkest darks - found in the crease of her lips and in her pupils. Additionally, for my brightest white highlights, I will typically carve out some of the graphite I already put down with an eraser.
I hope you have fun with this face shading practice!! Please stay tuned for next week's video. I'll be shading another 3/4 portrait using copic markers.
Have a great week!!!!
I hope you had a fantastic weekend!!
I have a LOT to tell ya today, so buckle your seat belt...
On Friday, I did a LIVE STREAM on my mixed media channel to celebrate 30K subscribers!!
While I was there, I showed a sneak peak of some of my 30K giveaway prizes:
MY 30K GIVEAWAY PRIZE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:
HOW CAN YOU WIN the GIVEAWAY PRIZES?
All you need to do is subscribe to my new Drawing Channel on YouTube.
After that- just pop back over to my LIVE STREAM video from Friday, and leave a comment telling me you've subscribed.
That's it ;) The winner will be selected at random and announced this Friday (9/4) on my Mixed Media channel!!
KAREN's CHALLENGE DETAILS
While I was LIVE on Friday, I also announced ALL the details about the Challenge I'm running next month!!!
I decided to go BIG...
We're starting September 21st, and the Challenge will run for 5 days.
I'm giving away prizes EVERY SINGLE DAY in my Facebook Group!!!
CLICK HERE to learn more & sign up for my DRAWING CHALLENGE - beginning Sept. 21st
CLICK HERE to learn more & sign up for my MIXED MEDIA CHALLENGE - beginning Sept. 21st
**IF you're a Club member of either The Fun Fab Drawing Club or The Mixed Media Society - you've automatically been enrolled in the challenge and will see that bonus in your classroom.**
If you're NOT a club member, it's just $5 to participate in either challenge to receive the daily 1-hour lesson. I HOPE you'll join me!!!
NEW Drawing Video Today
My last bit of news today is to let ya know I've added another video to my profile series on my Drawing Channel.
Today she's an adorable fairy that I've shaded using some super cheap copic marker alternatives from a brand called Par Koo!
I was actually really surprised by how much I loved these juicy markers!
Even better- they're only 37 cents/ each - so if you're in the mood to add a ton of colors to your alcohol marker stash - I highly recommend giving them a try!!
CLICK HERE when you're ready to watch today's drawing tutorial & please draw along with me!!!
See ya next week!!!
While we've been working through how to draw profiles this month on my drawing channel, I've shared with you what a STRUGGLE I used to have with these!! I hope they're getting easier FOR YOU with all the tips and resources I've been sharing to help you figure this out FASTER than I did ;)
When you are comfortable with profile face drawing, shading, and adding in a FUN assortment of hairstyles, you can try jazzing up your sketchbook by adding some EXPRESSIONS.
Using a photo for inspiration (reference drawing) will make this process SO much easier than dreaming up an expression from scratch! A photographic reference has tons of information we can try to replicate in our drawings from angles to shading to make our drawings look SO much better!!
And... if you haven't done this before, as always, I've GOT YOU! And... I'm gonna teach you to do this step by step in today's drawing tutorial!
To get started, you're gonna need a sheet of trace paper, a sheet of drawing paper, a pencil, eraser, and the reference photo for today's project (just request that in the comments of today's video if you'd like a copy!).
The first step today is to is to sketch a circle, followed by our profile drawing guidelines. Not sure what these are or how to do it? Go ahead and start this Profile Drawing Series from the beginning and work your way up to the expressions video!
Next, we need to replicate the angle of this reference photo's nose to chin (follow that red line I've drawn up above!) to get the drawing proportions of the face just right.
As you'll see in the drawing video, I also want you to pay special attention to the black, negative space around this woman's profile in the background. That gives us TONS of info for our drawing so we can make it match the reference photo accurately (even if you're not doing a realistic drawing!).
In the photo above, you'll see I actually took the time to NUMBER the parts of the mouth on the reference photo that I needed to include in my own drawing to accurately replicate this profile expression. This is a SUPER HELPFUL tip that can make all the difference to help you break a drawing down step by step. One of the biggest challenges in drawing more realistic faces is remembering to include all the components from your reference photo in your own drawing.
Another huge tip when you're using a reference photo like this, is to lay a sheet of trace paper on top of your reference to physically trace some major guidelines for yourself. Then you can lay the trace paper you've drawn on over your own drawing to double check angles. It will help you see if something needs to be adjusted before moving forward with your drawing.
When I'm doing a drawing in graphite, I often will print my reference photo in black and white (see below!), because it TOTALLY helps me see where I need to throw in shading when I've finished my sketch. This makes is SO MUCH EASIER to find the shadows and replicate them in grayscale, like I did below...
See how the shadows are easier to spot now? I pointed out a million spots to get ya started on your shading!!
Blending out some of the graphite in your shading with a blending stump (that's what is in my hand in the pic below), will also soften your shading and turn your piece into a more 3 dimensional drawing that looks more realistic!
Don't stress if you don't have a blending stump. Tons of artists will use a finger! You can also use a q tip, or even a tissue as well. If you DO have a blending stump - let it get dirty!!! The dirtier the better ;)
I hope you enjoy today's drawing project and mini lesson!! Have FUN with it!!!
Stay tuned for next Monday's profile episode- we'll be putting everything we've learned into action and using copic markers to SHADE a PROFILE in COLOR!!
See ya then!!
I've been drawing since FOREVER.
But when I first started, it was SERIOUSLY hard to figure out where to put shadows and highlights on a face drawing to make it look 3 dimensional- like a more sophisticated drawing. I found this to be ESPECIALLY HARD whenever I would draw faces from different angles.
Today's FULL LENGTH, real time drawing lesson on YouTube is going to help you skip of the hard parts of wondering where to drop in the shading or highlights on a profile face, so you can create some profile drawings you are SUPER PROUD of!!!
My first shading trick is to REALLY LOOK at the art you admire from other artists!
Focus on the areas of that artwork that show light and dark in the face.
Here's an example of a piece I LOVE and used as a REFERENCE to inform me where lights and darks could go in my own drawing. This is called reference drawing! It's a thing, and can definitely help you grow as an artist.
Isn't this beautiful?? So dramatic!!
This piece was done by a Dutch digital artist I adore, Loish (Lois Van Baarle). I absolutely LOVE her work!
If you look closely at the the piece below, you'll see that I tried to replicate the light source and technique Loish used around the eyes of her girl when I created my own...
One of my favorite ways to demonstrate to students how light source affects the faces we draw, is using a foam head from the craft store and simply shining a flashlight on it. When you move the flashlight around, you can see exactly where the shadows and highlights are. This is exactly what you need to look for and imagine in your own drawings to add realistic shading to your face drawings - whatever angle you're drawing from!
Sound confusing? CLICK HERE to watch my demo.
Now- don't worry, I'm not telling you to go get a foam head in order to draw realistic shadows!
If you're drawing a profile in pencil and want to add some shading, the EASIEST thing you can do is pull up a black and white profile photo on your phone. If you look closely, the photo will show you exactly where the lights and darks need to go for your drawing.
That's it!!! It REALLY is THAT simple!!!
Take a look at this image. REALLY look closely to see where the shadows are falling. If you need to- squint your eyes a bit!
For this particular profile photo, the shadows are showing up primarily under the chin and neck- extending up to her earlobe. See what I mean?
That wasn't too hard was it? You're totally gonna be looking at photos differently from now on, aren't you?!
AWESOME!!! It's going to make you a better artist!!!
OK!! On to today's project... we are shading the profile face we drew in last week's episode.
If you missed that episode, CLICK HERE to draw the simple profile with me in real time.
Shading a profile (or a face from any angle) is really much easier than you think! All you need to do is lay down a little graphite from your pencil and SMOOOOOSH it around with your blending stump (that's what I'm holding in the pic above!). If you don't have a blending stump- just use your finger, a cutip, or even a tissue to move graphite around on your paper....
Be as DRAMATIC as you want to with your shading!!! YOU are the CREATOR!!!
A little realistic shading on a whimsical face REALLY punches it up, and takes your art to the next level!!
Personally, I LOVE me some DRAMA in my artwork, so of course you're gonna see super DARK shadows and bright white highlights in my work. That's part of what makes my work, mine- it's my style.
YOU do YOU!!!
Remember - a reference photo is just that- a reference. Don't feel like you have to match things exactly.
AND you don't even have to use a reference photo EVER. This is just an example of one way to help you get started.
Have SO much FUN with today's YouTube lesson!!! CLICK HERE or press the play button below to watch.
See ya next week!!!
I used to STRUGGLE with my profile face drawings because they ALL LOOKED LIKE ALIENS ...
OR...had FISH LIPS!!!
If you're ready to toss your sketchbook because you don't know how to draw a face that looks "right" as a side view drawing... You're in the right place!
HELP IS HERE!!!
As you may know, I'm a mixed media artist, but I REALLY value the skill of drawing because it makes my mixed media foregrounds look SO much more interesting and beautiful if they are based on accurate drawing proportions of the face.
It wasn't until I wrote my second book, How to Draw MORE Fun, Fab Faces, that I really held myself accountable to finally figure out how to draw 3/4 portraits and profiles in a CLEAR, step by step way!
In today's drawing tutorial I'm pulling out ALL MY TIPS for face drawing, and I'm gonna walk you through profile drawing STEP BY STEP so it's easy for you to replicate on your own at home!
ALL you need to do this project right along with me is a piece of paper and a pencil - ANY pencil with an eraser will do!
When you're working on a profile sketch, there are little tweaks you can make to help your faces look more realistic. Even if you're doing a a stylized whimsical drawing (like mine!), paying attention to angles of the face and the placement of facial features will give your drawing greater sophistication.
Download a copy of my FREE Profile Face Drawing Guidelines here.
After you grab your guidelines, let's get started. Don't worry- this is an EASY drawing for beginners!!!
The first step is to simply draw a circle. Don't stress over it - just grab something near you that has a circular shape and trace around it. DONE!
Before we sketch in your guidelines, there is something I need to show you.
The angle from nose to chin varies a TON from face to face in real life. The pix below are from my book, How to Draw and Find Your Style. Look at that pink arrow focusing on the angle from nose to chin. See how it differs from the photo on the left? They are COMPLETELY different!
SUPER INTERESTING right?!! This is an example of one of the little nuances that trip us up as artists when we try to draw profiles! The angles are seriously tricky!!!! But we're NOT gonna let them get the better of us.
How do we draw this in an easy way without having issues? CLICK HERE and I'll demonstrate for you step by step.
When you sketch in these simple guidelines, it will help you focus on drawing proportions of the face- which is just a fancy way of saying YOUR girls won't look like aliens the way mine did ;)
One of the biggest rules to remember about profiles is the lips should NEVER stick out beyond the nose. See how that first set of double circles (above) looks just under my rough nose sketch? Those will soon become lips ... see below!
The more you work on your face drawing practice - the more these guidelines will become second nature to you.
You’ll know how to draw facial proportions for your side view face sketches correctly & will have drawings in your sketchbook you can be SUPER PROUD OF!! I PROMISE!!!
EVEN BETTER - it doesn't have to be hard anymore when you're armed with my Profile Face Guidelines Cheatsheet.
I HOPE you have FUN with this video and find the guidelines helpful. Make sure you're drawing right along with me because that is how you will learn best- with practice!!!
STAY TUNED for next week's video, because I'm gonna teach you HOW TO SHADE today's profile (see below!).
And YES, of course I gave her elf ears / fairy ears because I LOVE (and DO BELIEVE in) fairies!!!
See ya over on YouTube!!!
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Today is Friday which means NEW FREE YouTube lesson!!
This project was particularly satisfying for sooooo many reasons! Well, I'll just list them off so you know what they are! First all, I got to paint with my fountain pen inks. They are soooooo vibrant and juicy and satisfying (due to their vibrancy and juiciness) that I cannot even compare them to any other medium I love them so much! This is the one I use for skin color. It's DIVINE!
I can now draw hands after publishing a book on them! I can finally dive into any project that involves them and has truly opened up a whole new world of faces and characters now that I'm no longer afraid to tackle any drawing!
I spill 3 oz. of permanent ink all over my studio floor. There's nothing quite like an explosion of ink to liven things up in the old art room!
Glasses. Having the guts and courage to draw OVER and ON TOP OF a completely painted girl, is, well, TERRIFYING! But then the level of proud you feel when you actually pull it off is the BEST FEELING EVER!! So while it's scary, it's worth it!!! So my advice to you is to simply GO FOR IT.
The references I used today are so super cute!! The original reference photo was taken from Vogue Japan and I just fell in love with it when I saw it!!!
Another reason today's project was so fun was because of my little feline side-kick!! Oh Tippie!!!
So after the spill and the cat play and the juicy brushes filled with ink I was just delighted at the final outcome. Click on the video here to watch how YOU can learn how to paint glasses on YOUR mixed media girls!!
I hope you're staying safe indoors and have found some activities to keep your mind, heart and soul occupied and happy.
I personally find the best way to keep my heart and mind happy is to keep my body busy!! I've gone on A LOT of walks. But I'm also keeping busy with painting and drawing!!!
You may remember from last week's email that we painted our son Max's room?
Well yesterday I painted his favorite video game character in there too. Lifesize.
'Cause, really, why not if it keeps me busy and him DELIGHTED!
Seemed like a double win so we went for it!
Sadly it only took me 2 hours so I still had to keep busy for the rest of the day but it definitely helped me take my mind off of things for an afternoon.
Since being creative is working so well for ME these days, I thought maybe it would work well for you too!
So today I'm bringing you a fun demonstration tutorial about how to use colored pencils to help you shade your mixed media drawn faces.
The funny thing is that I REALLY DO HATE COLORED PENCILS. You can see so (and learn why) in the video!! lol!
But then you can also see how I use them to really pack a shading PUNCH to my best art journal faces.
Here's a peek!
Ready to learn and see? Grab some pencils and meet me at your art table. Then press play and let's gooooo!
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.